Life & Style

The winners were announced at the NTIG's hospitality and tourism industry awards event

The local hospitality and tourism industry gathered at FogHorn Brewery on Monday 27 May to celebrate the best of the best in the second annual Newcastle Hospitality & Tourism Awards.

Organised by Newcastle Tourism Industry Group (NTIG), the Awards are designed to honour outstanding contributions across the visitor economy, including hotels, restaurants, tour operators, event organisers, and support partners.  

“NTIG has had an impressive past 12 months to say the least. In less than three years, we’ve seen our membership numbers double,” said Acting NTIG chair Dominic May,  founder and owner of CoastXP.

“As a committee we have worked tirelessly to provide a unified voice for the local visitor economy, and to drive value for our members based on our 2024 strategy, which  identified five key pillars: Industry Education and Networking, Advocacy, Event  Activation, Inclusiveness and the Industry Awards Program we are celebrating tonight.  

“We’re not even halfway through the year, and we’ve already delivered in each of these areas through our support for local and major events and our partners such as the University of Newcastle’s new Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Events along with the new International Hotel School.  

“We’ve painted the town pink together with the City of Newcastle, using the SBR funding NTIG has received this year. Collectively we led a meeting surrounding accessibility in our city and the best ways for our members to get involved in making their businesses more accessible.  

“For this year’s Awards, we have seen a record number of highly competitive nominations, and we are excited to be introducing a new category, Inclusive Hospitality & Tourism Operator of the Year – clear signs of the momentum that the Newcastle Hospitality & Tourism Awards are gathering year after year.”  

Newcastle Tourism Industry Group
Winners - Paul O'Rourke, Tamara Young and Marty Adnum

"The NTIG committee would like to thank all our supporters, including FogHorn Brewery, Earp Distilling Co, Peter Drayton Wines, Newcastle Airport, FordTronic AV and Out Of The Square Media. An Awards program like this would simply be impossible without  them. After all the hard work that went into the Awards, we were excited to see the industry give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back, and party the night away at Foghorn and at the after-party at Coal & Cedar," said Dominic.

The finalists and winners of the night were…  

Industry Support Partner of the Year Award 

Recognising an organisation that helps the visitor economy create the magic and allowing them to focus on what they do best, presented by Shawn Sherlock, Chief Brewing Officer, FogHorn Brewery.  

Finalists: Aerologistics, and University of Newcastle – Business School  

Winner: Out Of The Square Media have supported a range of hospitality operators from  Soul Café to Newcastle Airport and events from Clipper Around The World Race to  Sculptures at Scratchley with high quality media production and distribution.  

Inclusive Tourism & Hospitality Operator of the Year Award 

Celebrating operators who demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity through an all of-company eort to accessibility, cultural sensitivity and diversity training, presented  by Chad Ramage, from Accessibility In The City  

Finalists: Quest Apartments Newcastle and Newcastle West, and Earp Distilling Co  

Winner: Oakvale Wildlife Park has a commitment to inclusivity that permeates every  aspect of their operation including a pathway network with no steps, complimentary  wheelchair hire including water wheelchairs, multi lingual maps and diversity training  for all sta. 

Employer of the Year Award 

Honouring innovation, resilience and dedication of employers who are dedicated to  creating terrific guest experiences, showcasing the best our industry can do, presented  by Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Nuatali Nelmes.  

Finalists: Quest Apartments Newcastle and Newcastle West and Oakvale Wildlife Park  

Winner: Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club train and develop their team through apprenticeships, personal development training, University support and Industry specific training. This creates a loyal, productive team with low sta turnover.  

Employee of the Year Award 

Highlighting the extraordinary commitment of a sta member who is making a  dierence in making guests feel special, presented by Ellie Taylor, Campaign Specialist  at Newcastle Airport.  

Finalists: Laura McGrath – City of Newcastle and Mia Shorter – Quest Apartments Newcastle and Newcastle West  

Winner: Tamara Young, University of Newcastle, has led tourism education and  research at University of Newcastle for over 15 years. By prioritising eective  partnerships, she has been educating future tourism professionals and conducting  research aligned to growing the Newcastle visitor economy.